Here are some of my favorite books.
The Body Ecology Diet
This is a great book for anyone desiring to rebuild immunity and digestive health. Donna Gates addresses microbial health and candida beautifully.
Cooking for Hormonal Balance
This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to find food solutions for getting their hormones into balance. Magdelena is a wise guide who guides readers to create of food choices and combinations that restore hormonal balance. Great recipes, beautiful photos, and insight into management of weight issues via attention to hormones.
The Ayurvedic Self-Care Handbook
Easy search-and-find reference for all things Ayurveda. The teachings come from a very reputable source, the author's teacher Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar. He is amazing and his student does a nice job making ayurveda user friendly. I use this often for quick access to information
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo's name has become a known outside of Japan where she helped many people tidy up and get organized. Now many Americans use her method to clear out clutter. Ask the question: "Does it Spark Joy?" and go from there. She also writes a follow-up book called Spark Joy
Healthy Happy & Sexy by Katie Silcox (Nicole's teacher)
Oh my, is this an amazing book. Nicole gifted this book to me. Reading it delights me in the same way as being in a class with Andrea Thibadeau! She has a beautiful podcast you should definitely look into. It's called The Ghee Spot. Every topic is full of wisdom, tips and Katie's brightness and humor.
The Prime by Kulreet Chaudhary, MD
Andrea turned me on to this book in an earlier LLY class. Kulreet Chaudhary is an integrative neurologist well versed in Ayurveda. She goes into detail about the way we can meet and repair what's out of balance in our physical bodies. Great guidance on gut repair. Very helpful for people wanting to address weight issues.
The Paleovedic Diet
by Akil Palanisamy, MD
I followed this book when transitioning from Paleo to Ayurveda. It helped let me release a grip on following a diet that may not have served me in some of the same ways it had. I still reference and use his tips for making meals as digestible for me and anyone. Fantastic tips for people who have had to watch their foods.
The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O'Donnell
Not too many people studying how to eat with Ayurveda principles don't know Kate O'Donnell's book. It is what she calls it -- a Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well. It didn't become my true kitchen companion until I started reading everything between the recipes and in the sidebars. You'll love her, and this might be the ONE cookbook to have if you can only have one. Then of course there is Divya Alter's book Eat for How You Feel?....
Body Thrive by Cate Stillman
This is the text for Heartspace Yoga's Live Like A Yogi Program. Cate Stillman made Ayurveda useful for modern life by teaching how we can up level our bodies and lives with 10 habits. Once automated there is the promise of Thriving. Talk to someone who uses them and ask what they think, or read the book. Better yet, sign up for the next 10 month Live Like A Yogi program and find out for yourself.
Everyday Ayurveda Cooking
for a Calm, Clear Mind
by Kate O'Donnell
This is Kate's second book, one she wanted to write while still working on her first. You'll find more than the 100 simple Sattvic recipes, but a rich text and gentle guidance into how we eat can have an effect on the mind. Part One is all about the body/mind connection, making this my favorite of Kate's two books. But of course I want to have both. What one book doesn't have the other does.
The Wild Wisdom of Weeds
by Katrina Blair
For anyone wanting to bring more wild foods into their diet, you will get some guidance and inspiration here. It's a forager's guide that includes 100 recipes, but more importantly you will learn how to find food and self care right out your back door.
A Life of Balance
by Maya Towari
It wasn't until I read the forward of this book and continued reading what Maya wrote before she offers her numerous recipes that I really saw the value of this older book. This confirmed my trust that we can heal our bodies with the principles and practices that the ancient science of Ayurveda offers. The recipes have been tried and true for many years, and are surely rooted in the experience of food that heals, deep understanding of body types and ways of finding balance in the kitchen.
Food As Medicine
by Todd Caldecott
Published in 2012 this is one of the early books on using food as medicine. I still live by this concept. It is rooted in our most ancient healing traditions. Todd is a trained medical herbalist and practitioner of Ayurveda. This book is as much about the theory of food as it is about how to prepare it so that it can work in a healing way. It's a book to keep going back to again and again for a deeper understanding about what's available from nature to bring to your own kitchen apothecary.
What to Eat For How you Feel by Divya Alter
Bulgarian chef, Divya Alter began a conscious relationship with food as an intern in an ashram in Bulgaria, which then inspired her to be a yogini.
Her approach to cooking is in relationship to the elements. This cookbooks is organized by season and includes variations according to the strength of one's digestion.
The Rainbow Diet
by Deanna Minich, PhD
When you meet this book you may never again look at a meal without noticing the varied color in the meal or it's lack of some food on the color spectrum. Deanna takes a novel but health-supportive approach to radiant health by examining how chakra colors relate to and bring forth the qualities and actions of the associated foods (and even some supplements). Red - root, orange - flow, yellow - fire, green - love, aquamarine - truth, indigo - insight and white - spirit.
Eat Taste Heal by Thomas Yarema, MD, Daniel Rhoda, DAS, and Chef Johnny Brannigan
This book was a treat to pursue whenever I was at the Ayurvedic Center, but perhaps too fancy for my own shelf. Now I own it. Like the setting where it was created (Hawaii), it is a luxury. I will always look here for a meal when I'm looking for a recipe specific for a particular dosha or season even though for each there are substitutions for the other two doshas. This is definitely a cookbook from which to choose meals, desserts or beverages to serve your beloved self and others.
Easy Healing Drinks from the Wisdom of Ayurveda: Delicious and Nourishing Recipes for All Seasons
by Amadea Morningstar
This wonderful book came to me in a magical way at the beginning of 2021, the time when many of us committed to renewal, connecting even more than ever with our WHY in relation to health. Even more than her first book, the first Ayurveda Recipe book sold here in the West, this is a delight to flip through and learn from, knowing that in each Season’s chapter one would find a handful of new nourishing and yummy drinks that do more than balance doshas — they lift spirits. And that is certainly what many of us would find hard to resist. Liquid nourishment strengthens Rasa. Rasa is what gives us our juiciness. It’s our blood and the fluid of our lymph the support the flow of our rivers, carrying nourishment and moving waste and providing essential hydration. This is just one of those books you treat yourself to… or go to Amadea’s website and find the individual chapters as downloads (if they are still available).
31 Day Food Revolution
by Ocean Robbins
This is my newest book of 2021, grabbed as a retired library copy (published 2019) just before Ocean and his Dad John Robbins hosted the 10th Annual Food Revolution Summit. My early adulthood, until I met health issues involving poor digestion and low B-12, were lived as a vegetarian. Having realized the importance of including high quality sustainable animal products for my health, I educated myself about how to include these while taking much care not to over-indulge. And as a Buddhist I take utmost care in this decision, eating always with gratitude for those animals from which I’ve gained nourishment. The summit invitation arrived in my e-mail one day, and I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity to listen with an open mind with the intention of learning even more about a plant-based diet. My diet is what I was considering Plant-based (whole foods, mostly plants), but Food Revolution is about real McCoy — maintaining optimal health with closer to a vegan diet. I lavished the idea of learning more, and learning again, but in a deeper way than I did when I was beginning college. I consider myself wiser, making choices not just because they were popular, but because they matter. And I’m more motivated than ever, to continue taking my health into my hands, but with hopes that through interactions with many who commit totally to plant-based eating, I might light the way also for them, and for the future of the planet. The summit was full of wisdom, and so is the book.
The Yoga of Herbs
by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad
This book sat on my shelf for a bit in the early days of my study of Ayurveda, I admit. But over time, as I have used more and more of the herbal medicinals recommended by the Ayurvedic practitioners I’ve worked with, it is now a resource I turn to regularly. I am reminded of the Agni in plants. And I can return again and again to the Rasas — the tastes of Sweet Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter and Astringent and how their actions and effects bring me into better balance. The term “yoga” has many traditional meanings. In Ayurveda, the medical science of India, yoga refers to the “right usage” and “right combination” of herbs. A special combination of substances designed to bring about a certain effect on the body or mind is called a “yoga.” If you find yourself yearning to understand better the energetics of Ayurveda herbal science, this is definitely the book for you.
The Everyday Ayurveda Guide to Self Care
by Kate O'Donnell
Oh, my Kate O’Donnell does it again — a must have book for anyone interested in simple ayurveda eating and living. This is the book Kate says she always wanted to write. But she knew the other two (see earlier) had to come before. Now her readers are ready for this book about Rhythms, Routines and Home Remedies for Natural Healing. This is just what we focus on in Heartspace Yoga’s Live Like A Yogi class!
This is the one of the three books that I didn’t wait for reading from the beginning of the book before looking at any recipes! I snuggled up with a cup of tea and this book in the middle of the winter when I knew I had the most time in the year to refine my own rhythms and routines, under her careful, simple guiding way. Kate is a student of Dr. Vasant Ladd, and her teachings are ‘pure.’ Kate’s books are like primers for Ayurveda, and this being THE most enlightening text for lifestyle shifts. But do not fear — there are plenty of recipes, but they are diverse home remedies related to Dinacharya (daily routines) Richucharya (seasonal flow) and the Four Stages of Life’s Flow (childhood to later life). Such a fun book to have if you care about your self-care through the lens of Ayurveda.
by Mark Hyman
A book of recipes for lifelong health — this would be the book I might want to write that meets my physiology over years in my mid sixties. Dr. Mark Hyman has shown up in so many learning arenas since my health put me into major imbalance and decline. He advocated a gluten free, non-GMO whole foods diet, where quality matters over quantity, all coming from what he calls a “conscious kitchen.” That certainly was aligned with the eating practices and kitchen sadhana I already was developing, where food was surely medicine, but the kitchen it was prepared in was becoming more sacred than ever before. With the exception of the inclusion of animal products, this is the closest book to Ayurveda without it being knowledgeable about Ayurveda practices. He calls it a Pegan Diet — coming from it’s root in Paleo, blending with the science supporting a vegan diet. It’s pretty brilliant. I think Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, a solid researcher and scientist who used to be called the Paleo Mom and now calls her podcast The Whole View (because it’s about eating whole foods, mostly plants), would have wanted to write THIS book. I have high regard for both guides along my health path. And the recipes all have gorgeous photos and ARE delicious!
by BJ Fogg
I was introduced to BJ Fogg’s Habit formation tips in Cate Stillman’s Body Thrive course. This book of his is proving to make a worn path on my journey of creating and recreating desired habits that will stick around. I’m listening on audible, and have the benefit of hearing his story of how he made many changes in his challenges with voice issues (this only can be heard in the audio version of the book). Listening, you will probably want to refer to his PDFs to get the most out of it. Pretty easy to do. It seems to me that if we want to make changes in our lives, it’s important to get clear about what we want, then find proven ways to make it doable, easy, if possible, and sustainable. That’s where Tiny Steps comes in. Cate Stillman uses the Japanese term Kaizen - smaller actions toward a larger goal. These tools are very applicable for making dietary changes.
The Here and Now Habit
by Hugh G. Byrne
This book sits on my bedside table in the last months of the Pandemic. This year of coming home to self allow conditions for more mindfulness. Hugh Byrne, discovered on Insight Timer, has been one of the teachers whose simple manner of teaching about Mindfulness seems to hit home for me. What we bring to the table when wanting change is to tune into what matters most to us, then being willing to examine our current habits. Hugh does a great job of taking the reader there. He offers a template for getting to where we want to be — many motivating stories, just like ours. He also wrote the Habit Swap, but I do love this book. Hugh is a meditation teacher; so I understand the draw toward what he offers.